The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) is encouraging pet owners to talkto their veterinarian about parasite protection for their pets over the coolermonths.
AVA President, Dr Paula Parker, said that even during winter, fleas and tickscan remain real dangers, so it’s important to continue treatment all yearlong.
“Although you may not see them as often in the winter, fleas, ticks and otherparasites can still live quite comfortably outside and in your home,” shesaid.
“Paralysis ticks tend to attach to the head and neck area of the pet and onthe chest and the front of the leg but can be found on any part of the body.Ticks release a toxin when they feed, which leads to a potentially fatalcondition known as tick paralysis. Common initial signs of tick paralysisinclude difficulty walking, gurgling and choking. Dogs may not be able to barkproperly.”

Dr Parker said that pet owners should also check dogs and cats regularly byrunning their hands over the animal to feel for anything unusual.

“If you find a tick, even if you are able to remove it, it’s still importantthat your pet is seen by a vet as soon as possible. Pets can be affected bythe toxin for several days after the tick has been removed,” Dr Parker said.

Thankfully, there are a range of preventive and safe tick and flea productsavailable. Continuing prevention through winter helps to minimise the risk ofexposure to deadly parasites and also helps keep flea populations undercontrol.

Pets owners should speak to their local veterinarian who can advise on thebest prevention method for their situation and type of pet.

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